Tips For Your Tiger Week 8

2_zpskbjvgamfMeet Nicole Dominique from Thibodaux, Louisiana. She is a junior and will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Science and the School of the Coast and Environment this summer. She is currently pursuing a dual-degree in Microbiology and English Literature with the intentions of applying to medical school in the coming year. At LSU, She is involved with LSU Ambassadors, Alpha Epsilon Delta, Gamma Beta Phi and Honors College Advocates. Nicole also researches in a microbiology lab on campus in Life Sciences and works as a content tutor for the Academic Center for Student Athletes. Her favorite location on campus is Middleton Library because of the different floors with varying noise levels, the great views of campus and the CC’s that can be found on the first floor.

Well, it’s official! Fee bills have been sent out (and are due August 6th!), and your student is going to college. At this point, you and your families are probably enjoying the last weeks of your summer, or your student may even be attending a post-orientation program such as S.T.R.I.P.E.S. Regardless, this is a time to embrace. nikkiAfter all, you only get so many first’s (like my first day of school), and beginning college is a big transition for anyone. While change always brings with it worry and anxiety, the transition to college really is a time for personal growth and fun, and I promise, it’s exciting!

Coming into LSU from a small town, I was anxious about the adjustment, but at the same time, I knew that LSU would have so many opportunities for me, even if I didn’t quite know what that entailed yet. But, in retrospect, I can tell you that I was able to take 40 credit hours, join 3 on-campus organizations (an amount that was contested then, has increased since, and remains to be contested by my mom), develop several friendships, make innumerable memories, begin volunteering for a national crisis intervention hotline, learn the layout of campus, work my first real job, acquire the ability not to wince when drinking coffee, and study abroad in the United Kingdom all during my freshman year.UK

Despite that, my mother still dedicatedly called me at 4 p.m. every day during the school year, and I drove back home about every other weekend. With that, I was able to balance college life and still spend time with my family. So, college, in no way, is a goodbye.

My best advice to you is to enjoy this time. It’s going to go faster than you think, and before you know it, you’re going to be sitting through your student’s graduation ceremony. As cliché as that is, as a rising junior, which is still really frightening to say, I have seen how quickly college passes. So, enjoy this time by staying calm and planning for what you can. You will ultimately forget something, especially if you’re like me and you forget to bring a pillow both your freshman and sophomore years to the residence hall, but that’s no big deal. You craft a make-shift pillow out of a blanket or borrow one and make it through the night until you get your proper pillow. That may just be me, but anyway, life happens. You may experience your own figurative forgotten pillow, but make the best out of it (and then use it for later blogs-again, maybe just me)! But, the point is that it really is near impossible to do everything perfectly. We have the resources there for you such as residence hall packing lists, which are mailed to you and which needed a second look by me, so again, plan for what you can. But, it will all be alright if things don’t go perfectly as planned.

So, what are you still doing here? We have 26 days until the Fall semester begins, so make sure you pay your fee bill, but go out and enjoy the summer and your time with your student! And like always…

GEAUX TIGERS!

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Tips for Your Tiger Week 7

taylorMeet Taylor Bourne from New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a junior and will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Agriculture this summer. She is majoring in Sports Administration with a minor in Business. Taylor is involved in LSU Ambassadors, LSU Move-In-Day, Geaux Big and works at the LSU Ticket Office. Her favorite place on campus is the Greek Theatre.

To all of the wonderful parents and families, I understand that college is an adjustment for everyone involved and not just your student. Knowing that they are going away to experience things on their own without you is most definitely a tough pill to swallow. On the bright side, this will make your student realize that the real world is coming soon. I am sometimes very dependent on my parents for things that I should know how to do or handle. Mainly, I knew that they would always be there for me no matter how confident they were in me. It is a learning process for my parents and myself that I have to grow up and handle adult responsibilities. Now that I am about to be a junior, I make it a point to handle as much as I can on my own. I realize that the “real world” is getting closer and I want to be as prepared as possible.

Some advice that I would give parents and families on dealing with adjusting is time. Everything takes time. Do not expect for your student to be smooth sailing right when they start college. They may not have the best grade and they may not make any friends, but in the end, that’s ok. With time, your student will make those great grades and have a great group of friends. Again, this takes a lot of adjusting. High school is very different from college and it is an eye opener to students who are used to doing things one way. College is definitely a place where CHANGE comes into play. On a personal note, I HATED change. I was honestly scared of change because I liked things the way they were (so I thought). But recently, a lot has changed for me and I would not have it any other way. My parents are very supportive, but they have learned to not do everything for me. They let me experience things on my own without butting in, which I truly appreciate. Sometimes I want them to butt in but like I referenced in the beginning, the real world is coming and will not allow your parents to butt in no matter how much they want to (LOL). Lastly, to any parents who participated in evening activities and heard about my struggle bus, IT IS REAL! Thank you all for being such great support systems to your students and I cant wait to see them this fall!

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Tips For Your Tiger Week 6

1_zpsftppkfqvMeet Ryan Bolotte from New Orleans, Louisiana. He will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the University College for Freshman Year this summer. He is a recent graduate with a degree in Biological Sciences. He will attend LSU Medical School in New Orleans in the fall. Ryan is involved in LSU Ambassadors, STRIPES Program, Supplemental Instruction and Tutoring. His favorite place on campus is the LSU Lakes.

I entered LSU as a very shy, introverted freshman. I knew I was determined and driven, but I was not sure how I was going to transfer my high school success over to college. If there is one thing I have learned during my four years at LSU, it is that this university provides plentiful resources and opportunities to benefit your student while he or she is here. Your student will hear about these helpful departments and tools at orientation and any extended orientation programs he or she may attend. However, it is upon your student to seek out any help or advising he or she may need over the years.

The Center for Academic Success (CAS) strives to allow students to reach their full potential inside the classroom. CAS offers many events, programs, and services focused on time management, learning style assessments, and study strategies. CAS also offers tutoring and Supplemental Instruction to aid students in proper preparation for their exams. More information on CAS can be found at cas.lsu.edu.love2

The Olinde Career Center is an excellent resource for students to utilize for their development into young professionals. Advisors in this department can help your student create a four-year degree plan as well as counsel students to align their major with a suitable and practical career. The Olinde Career Center also puts on events such as résumé editing, personal statement workshops, job fairs/career expos, and mock interviews. Additionally, the Olinde Career Center manages a database (called Careers2Geaux) that lists available volunteer, part-time, and internship positions from various employers. More information on the Olinde Career Center can be found at careercenter.lsu.edu.

There are many ways that your student can go about getting involved on our campus. There are over 350 student organizations that students can take part in. During the first few weeks of classes, Free Speech Plaza (located in front of the LSU Student Union) will have many organization representatives providing additional information on their organizations to the student body. Also during the beginning of the semester, there will be a Student Involvement Fair where a majority of LSU’s student organizations sit at tables to promote and advertise their clubs. More information on Campus Life can be found at campuslife.lsu.edu.

loveCollege is not easy for any student. However, I firmly believe that LSU is very strong in its quality and quantity of on-campus resources and departments. Bottom line: it is okay for your student to struggle, but they don’t have to do it alone at LSU.

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Tips For Your Tiger Week 5

madiMeet Madison Lusco from Madisonville, Louisiana. She is a junior and will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Music & Dramatic Arts and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences this summer. She is majoring in Psychology and Sociology with a concentration in Criminology. Madison is involved with LSU Ambassadors and Dance Marathon. Her favorite place on campus is in front of the Bell Tower.

No student compares to yours!

As students, choosing a major (and consequently a career path) is one of the toughest and most important decisions we will ever make in the entirety of our lives… And we have to make it fresh out of high school at the age of eighteen.

Naturally as a parent, you may want to help in the decision.  Suggestions are great, research is also good, but support is better. Because when it all comes down to it, it is your student’s decision on what path they take. The last thing they need is to feel pressured into something they have no passion for.  Something as simple as choosing a major can determine our entire lives, so one thing to keep in mind is to narrow your focus strictly to your student and no one else.

Being the overachiever I am, I compare myself to everyone. I have a scholarship that I should be proud of, but there will always be someone out there who got more money than me. I could be really excited about working hard and getting a B on a test, but someone else could have made little effort and gotten an A. madI’m also a psychology major, so unlike an engineering or biology degree, there is no concrete career path laid out for me to choose from. Regardless of what others have done, you as the parent should take pride in the fact that your student did the best that they could do in something that they love.

It is important to remember that every student’s situation is different. Financially, academically, interests, whatever it may be, we are not the same. My tip for parents is to not compare your student to anyone else.  The only person they should be trying to compete with is themselves. Nothing is better than their best, and everyone’s “best” different. I have never felt pressured or resented by my parents for the life decisions I have made or how I have performed thus far. They trust that I can make these choices on my own and that my I will give nothing but my all, and that has made all the difference in my time at LSU.

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Tips For Your Tiger Week 4

1_zpsriyzdsdyMeet Lisa Jalilian from Denham Springs, Louisiana. She is a senior and will be serving as the Parent Oriental Leader for the University College: Center for Advising & Counseling this summer. She is majoring in Biological Sciences. Lisa is involved in LSU Ambassadors and the LSU Pre-Dental Society. Her favorite spot on campus is the LSU Campanile or as many know it, the Memorial Tower. She finds it to be iconic as well as a strong presence on campus.

Thanks to the latest Disney musical extravaganza, everyone is preaching, “let it go” as their new motto.  For all our new LSU family members, I am here to explain that this bittersweet motto is not a bad one to visit Tiger nation with.

My parents are my best friends, and were very involved in every step of my life, kindergarten through twelfth grade.  They never missed any opportunity to chaperon for an event or to add (stalk) one of my friends on Facebook. But on the first day of orientation, when my mom was informed that she and I were going to separate check-in rooms and mostly different programs, I realized that college would not be the same.

I surprised myself by worrying about my parents not being involved in my life at LSU. My mom surprised me by not displaying any of the anxiety I was feeling for the both of us, as she offered me a soft smile and a few short words before parting. FullSizeRender

I realize now, what Mom had realized in the summer of 2012; this was college, things were going to be different, and we just had to let it go.

[L]earn

There is a reason for separate orientation programs; parents and students have different roles at LSU. Orientation is a great lesson of independence and responsibility, and at the end of everyday y’all are able to share and learn from each other.

[E]ncourage

Your student may change his or her major, wish to study abroad, join a new organization, apply for a prestigious internship, etc. Encourage them to explore and make the difficult decisions on their own. Be their #1 supporter by simply believing in them.

[T]alk

Communicate with your tiger! Contact them with intentions of simply talking, not drilling them with questions about classes, budgets, health, etc. Let them control the conversation, and if you listen long enough, you will hear more than what your questions might have uncovered.

[I]nsight

While your student is making connections, I encourage you to collect contacts of your own. You never know when you will need someone to reach out to for some advise or a second opinion.

[T]ransition

People are often sensitive to unfamiliarity, making any transition difficult. Offer your student patience and determination. There is a reason LSU chose your student; they belong here and are going to do just fine!

[G]rades

They are not everything, but grades are important. Familiarize yourselves with campus resources. There are a variety of study aids, tutoring options and advising available for your student to utilize.

[O]pportunity

LSU is full of opportunities for you and your student. Embrace your separate roles and get involved.

Two years later, my parents sent a second student to college, and today, have mastered their roles as LSU Mom and Dad. I have modeled these tips specifically from the parenting that they demonstrated for my little sister and me during college. Although they cannot be there every step of the way, they remain involved in our lives and continuously offer their tremendous support.  My wish for y’all is to Love Purple and Live Gold with incredible pride and spirit alongside your tigers and to take the next three/four/five years by storm! GEAUX Parents <3

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Tips For Your Tiger Week 3

JG profileMeet Jewel Goodly from Champaign, Illinois. She is a junior and will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the E.J. Ourso College of Business this summer. She is majoring in Human Resource Education-Leadership Development with a minor in Business. Jewel is involved in LSU Ambassadors and the STRIPES Program. Her favorite spot on campus is the Quad. Her advice for parents is to trust not only students, but that your hard work has paid off!

It’s not you, it’s college.

About six years ago, my oldest sister left for college I was beyond excited for her in every aspect. I assumed that we would text 24/7, that I would get a call from her every day and we would remain in close contact. The communication with her was the opposite and it was hard for me to adjust to rarely hearing from my best friend. While the communication with her did improve, that year I made a personal vow to remain in close communication with my siblings and parents when it was my turn. The stigma I had of my sisters poor communication skills quickly changed as I began my transition to LSU. The more I became acquainted to campus and started to get involved, I learned exactly where my sister was coming from and understood more of why the communication had slowed. Although none of this is intentional as a new college student, your students are developing a new way of living.  I learned that the lack of communication wasn’t intentional but that forgetting to check in with my family did occasionally happen. Between courses, professors, roommates, socializing, staying active, exams, loneliness, new friends, old friends, new home, Greek life, student life etc. college can be quite a bit to adjust to.  Now about to enter my junior year at LSU, I am proud to say I am actively keeping the vow I made to stay in contact!JG fam

College is definitely a transition and a huge adjustment for not only the students but all the family members as well.  So while your student is going through this transition, remember it’s not you, it college. Staying connected can be a good morning text or a flight home if you have an out of state student. Here’s a few tips for staying in communication and contact with your student while you are BOTH transitioning:

  1. Have a conversation with your student and other family members about how often they plan to call and what times fit best in both of your schedules.
  2. Care packages are everything! Nothing makes you feel more connected, loved or supported than receiving a care package or a sweet card to brighten your day! This is any easy way for your student to get a little piece of home right in their residence hall. Every time I got that email saying I had a package to pick up, it always felt like Christmas. Starting August 1, your student can register for a mailbox at the RICOH Mailing Center located in the LSU Student Union.
  3. Know that college makes your students appreciate you more than ever and even if we are reluctant to admit it, you really are the best. Receiving that good luck text right before a big exam or random Skype or FaceTime dates really does make our day.
  4. This one might mainly apply to dads, but remember that if your student calls, they might just want to talk. We don’t always need money, we didn’t get in a car accident, we aren’t failing anything, we just want to talk.
  5. Be a great listener because we might just want to vent and aren’t necessarily looking for an answer. Also try not to say “I told you so” or nag us about the little things when communicating with us.
  6. If you’re not friends with you student Facebook, request to be there friend. Have a conversation with your student about updating their Facebook with pictures so you can see all the fun stuff they are doing.
  7. If you can make a visit, do it!
  8. Lastly if you’re having a hard time communicating with your student, be patient and remember it’s not you, its college.
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Tips for Your Tiger Week 2

Blaise profileMeet Blaise LaCour. She is a sophomore from Natchitoches, Louisiana. She is majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism. Blaise is involved in LSU Ambassadors, Tiger TV and the Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity. Her favorite place on campus is 203 Herget Hall. This summer she will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Art and Design.

The relationship between parents and their children is an ongoing struggle.

While parents give us everything they have, we love to take them for granted. Coming to LSU means your student has complete freedom and it’s up to them as to what they do with it. My advice to parents sending their children off to college is to trust their own parenting skills. It’s now your job as proud parents to take a small step back and see all your efforts at work! This new separation will make your student appreciate you more than you know.

It took me moving hours away from home to realize that my parents had completely prepared me for life on my own. Not only did they give me the gifts of integrity and self-confidence, but they also taught me how to respect everyone I come into contact with. blaiseWhen it came to school they had always given me the independence to go after whatever I wanted, and this freedom allowed me to accomplish big things in high school. Now they were blessing me with the opportunity to take LSU by storm. By using the life skills they had equipped me with my freshman year was a success.

Their support gave me the ability to balance my new college curriculum with the several organizations that I had gotten involved in. But support alone didn’t get me through my first year at LSU. The fundamentals I was taught growing up kept me afloat, and I’m forever grateful to my parents for that.

Just remember, parents, don’t doubt your own abilities. Your student can achieve anything because you have helped them get this far. LSU is a font of opportunity that your student is more than capable of using to their advantage. You’ve prepared them their whole lives or this moment. From prioritizing their school and social life to keeping their rooms tidy, know that you have taught them well. Congratulations parents on a job well done!

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Tips for Your Tiger Week 1

BG-profileMeet Briana Guillory from Houston, TX. Briana attended Westfield High School and has recently graduated from LSU with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Throughout her collegiate career, she was involved with LSU Ambassadors, STRPIES, and the Association for the Education of Young Children at LSU. This summer Briana will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Human Sciences and Education. In the fall Briana will begin her teaching career at Mimosa Park Elementary in St. Charles Parish teaching first grade.

My advice for parents: Be patient with your student. Wait for them to have their light bulb moment.

It’s summer. Your student is done with high school. Forever. What an exciting accomplishment! For me, high school was full of memories with great friends, opportunities to showcase my talents, and countless teachable moments as a result of the decisions I made. Overall, I enjoyed my high school experience, but I knew there was more. The moment I received my acceptance letter from LSU, I knew being a tiger would be empowering, inspiring, and would transform me in ways I didn’t even know I needed to be.

I began my collegiate career the summer before my freshman year as a part of the Summer Scholars Program, an eight-week program for under-represented minority students to help them overcome academic, social, and cultural challenges they may face during their transition from high school to college. BG-parentsThe first day of classes just so happened to be the day after graduation, so I walked across the stage around 7:00 pm on a Sunday evening, loaded up my mom’s car afterwards, and immediately drove 4 hours to Baton Rouge where I attended my first LSU class at 7:30 am the Monday morning. Needless to say, this was a very emotional day for my parents and me. I was so content to be in Baton Rouge and finally starting this journey of independence but I was overwhelmed with questions: What do I wear to class? How do I study in college? How do you make friends in college? What am I going to do without my parents cooking for me? How often do I go home to visit? It was a lot to take in at one time! In the midst of all of these thoughts, the most vivid memory I have from that night is when my parents left. My mom left me an orange with a note next to it and it said “Orange you lucky to be loved so much!” I immediately burst into tears when I saw it that morning.BG-note It was in this moment that I realized how grateful I was for how my parents raised me and all of the the opportunities they had given me through their hard work and unconditional love. I was so appreciative of them for allowing me to go to LSU and have my own college experience out of state. It was in this moment that I realized that I was truly on my own and they wouldn’t be there for me holding my hand, and in that moment I was a bit terrified.  This was my light bulb moment.

Parents, I want you to know that these moments will happen for your tigers more often than you think. Our pride gets in the way and we often think we can handle everything on our own, but that does not mean that we love or need you guys any less. College is a time for your students to begin a journey into the person they are meant to be, experience new things and new people, and learn from their mistakes. Be patient and allow them to explore their freedom. Trust me, you will know when they have that light bulb moment. They’ll start calling more. They’ll make surprise visits home. And they’ll have tears in their eyes as they pull out of the drive way and head back to their new home. College is hard but they cannot get through it without you guys.

BG-library

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Meet the 2015 Parent Orientation Leader Team

One very unique thing about LSU is the way its orientation program is structured. We are one of the few universities that have a separate program for the families of future tigers. The program is designed to help ease the concerns of the family members as well as provide information to help their students be successful at LSU. Every year a team of LSU Ambassadors is selected to help lead this program by contributing their first-hand knowledge of the university. This year’s team consists of eleven members that hope to make every family feel at home at LSU.

IMG_5998Drake Boudreaux will be serving as the Head Parent Orientation Leader. He is a junior from Lafayette, Louisiana. He is majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in Digital Advertising and minoring in Visual Communication. Drake is involved in several organizations on campus such as LSU Ambassadors, Student Government and Dance Marathon. His favorite place on campus is Tiger Stadium. His advice for parents is to support your student in whatever way will be most beneficial for them. If that is with a phone call every night or with encouraging text messages throughout the day, it is always great to be reminded by the ones we love that we are being thought of while going through the hustle and bustle of college.

IMG_6003Briana Guillory will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Human Sciences and Education. She is a recent graduate from Houston, Texas with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Briana will go on to teach 1st grade in the fall. She is involved in LSU Ambassadors, STRIPES Program and AEYC at LSU. Her favorite place on campus is 102 Allen Hall. Her advice for parents is to be patient with your student. This new independence is empowering for them, so allow them to make their own decisions and learn from their mistakes but ensure them that you are there for them every step of the way.

IMG_6005Taylor Bourne will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Agriculture. She is a junior from New Orleans, Louisiana. She is majoring in Sports Administration with a minor in Business. Taylor is involved in LSU Ambassadors, LSU Move-In-Day, Geaux Big and works at the LSU Ticket Office. Her favorite place on campus is the Greek Theatre. Her advice for parents is to stay calm during any situation, not to hover and trust your student to be great!

IMG_6019Brandon Power will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Engineering. He is a junior from Mandeville, Louisiana. He is majoring in Industrial Engineering. Brandon is involved in LSU Ambassadors, Engineering Ambassadors, Institute of Industrial Engineers and the Sophomore Gold Program. His favorite place on campus is the Parade Ground. His advice for parents is to tell their students to get involved in as many things as possible at LSU and for them to get involved with the LSU Parent and Family Programs to stay connected to the university.

IMG_6013Madison Lusco will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Music & Dramatic Arts and College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She is a junior from Madisonville, Louisiana. She is majoring in Psychology and Sociology with a concentration in Criminology. Madison is involved with LSU Ambassadors and Dance Marathon. Her favorite place on campus is in front of the Bell Tower. Her advice for parents is to know your student has made it here because of everything you have taught them while growing up. Keep this in mind and know that they are ready; you have taught them well.

IMG_6043Lisa Jalilian will be serving as the Parent Oriental Leader for the University College for Advising & Counseling. She is a senior from Denham Springs, Louisiana. She is majoring in Biological Sciences. Lisa is involved in LSU Ambassadors and the LSU Pre-Dental Society. Her favorite spot on campus is the LSU Campanile or as many know it, the Memorial Tower. She finds it to be iconic as well as a strong presence on campus. Its silhouette is found on many of LSU’s logos and she is always able to give campus directions in proximity to the Campanile. Also, last summer as a STRIPES small group leader, she lead a group of first year tigers though a four day retreat with the small group name of “Campanile” and shared many found memories with them. She would advise parents to focus on just their role at orientation and trust that their student(s) are capable of doing the same. By family members focusing on Parent Orientation and allowing their student(s) to focus on Freshman Orientation, they will be getting the most out of FOAP and could ultimately help and learn from each other in the future.

IMG_5987Ryan Bolotte will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the University College for Freshman Year. He is a recent graduate from New Orleans, Louisiana with a degree in Biological Sciences. He will attend LSU Medical School in New Orleans in the fall. Ryan is involved in LSU Ambassadors, STRIPES Program, Supplemental Instruction and Tutoring. His favorite place on campus is the LSU Lakes. His advice for parents is to know it is 100% okay for your student to make mistakes, especially within the first year. This year is a time of learning for both students and family members so when mistakes happen on either end, learn from those and then move on.

IMG_5980Meagan Johnson will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the Manship School of Mass Communication. She is a senior from Hackberry, Louisiana. She is majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism and minoring in Political Science and History. Meagan is involved in LSU Ambassadors, Collegiate 4-H and the University Baptist Church College Group. Her favorite place on campus is the Parade Ground. Her best advice for parents is to just be supportive of their students. This is a very new experience for them and having your support can be the best thing to help them get through it. Just a few supportive words letting them know you are there if they need anything or that you are proud of them can really make all the difference.

IMG_6035Jewel Goodly will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the E.J. Ourso College of Business. She is a junior from Champaign, Illinois. She is majoring in Human Resource Education-Leadership Development with a minor in Business. Jewel is involved in LSU Ambassadors and the STRIPES Program. Her favorite spot on campus is the Quad. Her advice for parents is to trust not only students, but that your hard work has paid off!

IMG_5991Blaise LaCour will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Art and Design. She is a sophomore from Natchitoches, Louisiana. She is majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism. Blaise is involved in LSU Ambassadors, Tiger TV and the Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity. Her favorite place on campus is 203 Herget Hall. Her advice to parents is to know that your student is about to encounter a workload much different than what they experienced in high school. When they get wound up, be the voice of reason. Sometimes they just need to hear that everything is going to be all right.

IMG_6024Nicole Dominique will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Science and the School of the Coast and Environment. She is a junior from Thibodaux, Louisiana. She is currently pursuing a dual-degree in Microbiology and English Literature with the intentions of applying to medical school in the coming year. At LSU, She is involved with LSU Ambassadors, Alpha Epsilon Delta, Gamma Beta Phi and Honors College Advocates. She also researches in a microbiology lab on campus in Life Sciences and works as a content tutor for the Academic Center for Student Athletes. Her favorite location on campus is Middleton Library because of the different floors with varying noise levels, the great views of campus, and the CC’s that can be found on the first floor. Her advice for you to have your best experience would be to download the LSU mobile app and just to embrace your time here. Her second piece of advice is just to enjoy everything around you. LSU has a phenomenal culture with great people comprising our campus, so just enjoy all of this while you’re here despite any stress or anxiety you may experience.

All of us POLs are here for you if you ever have any questions. We look forward to spending time with you all! Geaux Tigers!

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College, That’s a Wrap!

11201630_10205381375147710_6847942161028912054_nMeet Ryan Bolotte from New Orleans, LA. Ryan attended Ponchatoula High School and has recently graduated from LSU with a degree in Biological Sciences. Throughout his collegiate career, he was involved with LSU Ambassadors, STRIPES, and Supplemental Instruction. This summer Ryan will be serving as a second year Parent Orientation Leader. In the fall Ryan will begin medical school at LSU in New Orleans.

Four years ago, I was fresh out of high school with my diploma in hand and ready to take on the next big step in my life: college. Now, four years later, I am fresh out of college with my second diploma in hand and ready to take on an even bigger step in my life: medical school. When I look back on my time at LSU, it’s remarkable to think about all of the obstacles and challenges that I was forced to overcome, but it’s even more incredible to think about how rewarding it was to make it through those four years and how much I learned about myself along the way. There were a few major lessons that I learned while at LSU that proved to be vital in helping both my family and I succeed at this whole college “thing”, and I want to share those with you!

One of the first things that parents and families are going to be concerned about is staying in touch with their student. It’s a very valid issue, especially for students coming a long way from home to Baton Rouge. However, it’s not difficult to make something work these days with all of the technology that we have. Whether it’s a weekly phone call, a group text with the parents, or a daily text from your student, I’m sure there is something that you can agree upon that will work. The only thing you have to do is make sure to communicate beforehand with your student what is the best option for both of you and be open to changes in case your “communication plan” needs to be tweaked or altered throughout the years.

This is probably the hardest lesson I had to learn, but it is possibly the most important one for you and your student: it is okay to make mistakes (I promise). This goes for families and students alike. As a perfectionist, this was not easy for me to comprehend, but I soon realized that not everything is going to go as planned. From move-in day to the first exam to post-graduation plans, I had to learn very soon that it was fine to stray away from the original plan sometimes. I learned a whole lot more when things weren’t going right during college, and I can take those lessons that I learned about positivity and adaptability with me into the future.18705_10205381367907529_8724908469208468807_n

It is going to be hard at times to not compare what your student is doing to his or her siblings, friends, or your friends’ children. There were many times when I found myself comparing my grades, extracurricular activities, or jobs to what other people were doing, and I know my mother did the same thing with her friends and their children. Two LSU students could do exactly the same things (have the same major, take the same classes, do the same extracurricular activities, etc.), and their college experiences will still be different due to the simple fact that every student is different. I found that comparing my experience to other students’ experiences only got me caught up in thoughts that were not going to help me achieve my goal of getting into medical school. I needed to focus on my classes, my obligations, and my medical school preparation and stay away from comparing my unique journey to everyone else’s.

After spending four years here, I can guarantee that LSU offers everything that a student could ask for. The campus is beautiful and “home-like”; the organizations and clubs create smaller communities within the university; the student body is filled with passion and pride; the departments and university staff will ease your student’s time here; the faculty will provide your student with an excellent education; and the other students at this university are one of a kind. This is the best deal that any college student could ask for. Everything is out there, and it is upon you and your student to maximize the resources that LSU has to offer.

The last thing that I will leave you with is something that my mother told me before I came to college: constantly encourage your student and yourself to do the best you can. You cannot do any better than your best, and I always had to remind myself of that. If I gave something my all, and it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, I could be satisfied knowing that I gave it everything I possibly could. That is the attitude that you and your student have to maintain – do your best as a family member and have your student do his or her best, and things will fall into place from there. 11207369_10205381379787826_8227741502466119537_n

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